The Shepherd and His Sheep
1Jesus said, “It is certainly true that when a man enters the sheep pen, he should use the gate. If he climbs in some other way, he is a robber. He is trying to steal the sheep. 2But the man who takes care of the sheep enters through the gate. He is the shepherd. 3The man who guards the gate opens the gate for the shepherd. And the sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. He calls his own sheep, using their names, and he leads them out. 4He brings all of his sheep out. Then he goes ahead of them and leads them. The sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5But sheep will never follow someone they don’t know. They will run away from him, because they don’t know his voice.”
6Jesus told the people this story, but they did not understand what it meant.
Jesus Is the Good Shepherd
7So Jesus said again, “I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All those who came before me were thieves and robbers. The sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will be able to come in and go out. They will find everything they need. 10A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came to give life—life that is full and good.
11“I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12The worker who is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd. The paid worker does not own the sheep. So when he sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13The man runs away because he is only a paid worker. He does not really care for the sheep.
14-15“I am the shepherd who cares for the sheep. I know my sheep just as the Father knows me. And my sheep know me just as I know the Father. I give my life for these sheep. 16I have other sheep too. They are not in this flock here. I must lead them also. They will listen to my voice. In the future there will be one flock and one shepherd.#10:16 I have other sheep … shepherd Jesus means he has followers who are not Jews. See Jn. 11:52. 17The Father loves me because I give my life. I give my life so that I can get it back again. 18No one takes my life away from me. I give my own life freely. I have the right to give my life, and I have the right to get it back again. This is what the Father told me.”
19Again the Jews were divided over what Jesus was saying. 20Many of them said, “A demon has come into him and made him crazy. Why listen to him?”
21But others said, “These aren’t the words of someone controlled by a demon. A demon cannot heal the eyes of a blind man.”
The Jewish Leaders Against Jesus
22It was winter, and the time came for the Festival of Dedication#10:22 Festival of Dedication Hanukkah, or “Festival of Lights,” a special week in December celebrating the time in 165 B.C. when the Jerusalem Temple was made pure and ready again for Jewish worship. Before then it had been under the control of a foreign (Greek) army and used for pagan worship. at Jerusalem. 23Jesus was in the Temple area at Solomon’s Porch. 24The Jewish leaders gathered around him. They said, “How long will you make us wonder about you? If you are the Messiah, then tell us clearly.”
25Jesus answered, “I told you already, but you did not believe. I do miracles in my Father’s name. These miracles show who I am. 26But you do not believe, because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give my sheep eternal life. They will never die, and no one can take them out of my hand. 29My Father is the one who gave them to me, and he is greater than all.#10:29 he … than all Some Greek copies have “they are greater than all.” No one can steal my sheep out of his hand. 30The Father and I are one.”
31Again the Jews there picked up stones to kill Jesus. 32But he said to them, “The many wonderful things you have seen me do are from the Father. Which of these good things are you killing me for?”
33They answered, “We are not killing you for any good thing you did. But you say things that insult God. You are only a man, but you say you are the same as God! That is why we are trying to kill you!”
34Jesus answered, “It is written in your law that God said, ‘I said you are gods.’#Quote from Ps. 82:6 35This Scripture called those people gods—the people who received God’s message. And Scripture is always true. 36So why do you accuse me of insulting God for saying, ‘I am God’s Son’? I am the one God chose and sent into the world. 37If I don’t do what my Father does, then don’t believe what I say. 38But if I do what my Father does, you should believe in what I do. You might not believe in me, but you should believe in the things I do. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
39They tried to get Jesus again, but he escaped from them.
40Then he went back across the Jordan River to the place where John began his work of baptizing people. Jesus stayed there, 41and many people came to him. They said, “John never did any miraculous signs, but everything John said about this man is true.” 42And many people there believed in Jesus.